Using a new lens Narrative Language Perspective taking Planning and executive function Potential social skills
The point? The arts and other playful engagement are… Pregnant with learning opportunities!
Scientific studies Demonstrate the relationship between the arts and… –Math (Deasy, 2002; Spelke, 2008)) –Social skills (Thomas, 2007) –Symbolic representation –Increased attention (Posner,2008) –Executive function (Jonidas, 2008) –Divergent thinking (Ashbury & Rich, 2008)
For example, recent and ongoing neurological studies find that… –21 year olds trained in music and acting have increased long term verbal memory. Learn better memorizing strategies (Jonidas, 2008) –musical training in underprivileged 3-5 year olds supports attentional skills and better spatial and math outcomes (Neville et al., 2008) –Musical training is related to second language learning (Petitto, 2008; also see Wong et al., 2007)
And playful learning is related to outcomes in… Literacy Math Spatial skills Social skills Executive function
Despite these facts.. April 2009, A report from the Alliance for Childhood finds that in schools surveyed in NY and LA, 48% and 64% of classrooms respectively, reported there is not enough time to do any art. April 2009, NYTimes Headline: Julliard Curtails Program that serves poor children Elkind (2008) reports that children today have 8 hours less free play than they did a decade ago and 30,000 schools have dropped recess
The arts and playful learning also reinforce 21st Century skills that go well beyond academic content and process
We are told that…. We are leaving the information age, where getting the factoids was enough…. We are entering a new era, a knowledge age in which information is doubling every 2.5 years. Integrating information and innovation is key.
And Daniel Pink (2005), author of A whole new mind wrote: The past few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind-- computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind - creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. These people -- artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers -- will now reap societys richest rewards….
Finally, the Partnership for the 21 st Century Skills echoed, (September 10, 2008) In an economy driven by innovation and knowledge … in diverse workplaces and communities that hinge on collaborative relationships and social networking … the ingenuity, agility and skills of the American people are crucial to U.S. competitiveness. 21 st Century Skills: Education and Competitiveness
Distilling from the business community, education and child psychology, we noted 6 key skills that children will need to be successful in the 21st century…… Hirsh-Pasek,Golinkoff, Berk & Singer, 2008
The 6Cs act in concert as a kind of dynamic system for renewable learning
In drama when you do a skit or a play, all of the 6Cs are developed!
In short: Playing with the arts is a gateway to academic learning and is so much more. By putting content learning in its proper place within a systematic theory of the 6Cs we see how music, art, dance, and theater…. Prepare children to … Better understand the human condition Learn the academic and social content in an engaging and meaningful way Develop the skill set that is critical in the global world of tomorrow
Thus, It is time to see arts education with a new lens